PITTSBURGH (Jan. 25, 2012) -- Aaron Narvol, a World War II Veteran, received his Purple Heart nearly 70 years after being wounded by enemy fire during a battle in April of 1942. Narvol, 93, a life-long Pittsburgh resident, joined the Army just days before the attacks on Pearl Harbor, serving from 1941 to 1945 as an engineer.
After working for decades to track down the award he was owed, Narvol contacted the office of Senator Robert Casey Jr., and his staff was able to obtain the proper documentation for Narvol to receive the Purple Heart.
In a birthday surprise coordinated by Keri Harmicar, of West Penn Allegheny Health Systems and Rabbi Jon Perlman, Narvol was presented the award by the 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Commander, Brig. Gen. Bud R. Jameson Jr. at a ceremony in Narvol's apartment.
"I am proud to present Mister Narvol his Purple Heart and honor veterans like Mister Narvol remembering the sacrifices made by him and his generation," Jameson said.
Along with his Purple Heart, Jameson also presented Narvol with the 316th Commanding General's coin, telling him, "Once a Soldier, always a Soldier."
In addition to the military awards, Jaren Love, a constituent advocate for Senator Casey, presented Narvol with a letter of thanks from the senator for his service to the nation.
A visibly excited Narvol said of the award, "It took a long time, but worth the wait."
Narvol served in the Pacific theater and received the Silver Star for his actions of valor during the battle that day.
Narvol believes part of the delay was due to the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis that destroyed 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files.